Triumph TR6: The Complete Story is the latest work from David Knowles, the internationally recognised authority on the post-war development of the MG and Triumph marques leading up to their eventual merger into what was to become British Leyland. Some will have previously read David’s masterwork TR7 The Untold Story and whilst there is no way a telling of the TR6 story could ever hope to match that of its successor the new book runs it very close. David has traced the car’s roots right back to the TR2 and then brings us up to the TR6 succinctly via the TR3, TR4, TR4a, TR250 and TR5 with other relevant models covered along the way.
The Standard Motor Company took over the bombed out remains of what was Triumph towards the end of World War 2 and quickly developed two new Triumph models which were launched in 1946. One of these was the Triumph Roadster which is where the TR story really begins. It was intended to be replaced by the futuristic TRX in 1950. This was a double-skinned aluminium bodied car styled by Walter Belgrove who had styled the pre-war Triumph Dolomite Roadster and would later go on to style the TR2. The TRX was laden with a vast number of sophisticated features including concealed headlights. All this electronic wizardry built into the car caused problems though and at the 1950 Earls Court motor show Standard-Triumph Chairman, Sir John Black, demonstrated some of the TRX electro-hydraulic equipment to Princess Margaret only for it to fail! On the next stand was the launch of the Jaguar XK120 which pretty much killed off any interest in the new offering from Triumph and so a complete re-think was required.
In 1952 Walter Belgrove was asked to style a new sports car along the lines of an MG and he came up with the 20TS (for 2 litre Triumph Sports) which ultimately became the TR2. The story then follows the TR story until we reach the collaboration with Karmann under the auspices of Gerhard Giesecke who were commissioned to complete the styling work to transform the TR body into the TR6. What then follows is a minutiae of detail that make up the TR6 story, including a thoroughly comprehensive coverage of the model’s competition history in the USA. This is sure to appeal to many particularly as it has been completed with much input from Bob Tullius’s Group 44 Inc. and Kas Kastner, manager of the US Competitions Department. Overall the TR6 may not have as varied and convoluted a history as the later TR7 but it’s all packed in here and written up so well it makes the reader impatient to turn each single page. No one else has ever attempted to tell the TR6 story in such detail and David Knowles must be congratulated for undertaking such a unique publication which is sure to appeal to TR6 enthusiasts all over the world. Highly recommended.
Triumph TR6: The Complete Story is available in the UK now and should be on sale across the rest of the world by the time you read this. RRP in the UK is £35 but prices vary from as low as £23.50 on-line.